It's hard to believe that a few leaves (Dragon Jasmine Pearls, to be specific) would inspire an incredible and unforgettable journey for my taste buds and my keyboard. Several stained teacups, thousands of tea leaves and a new computer later, I'm still thirsty for more and can confidently say that my passion continues to bloom and unfurl just as the Jasmine Pearl did during my very first steep.
As my adventure has moved from silken sachets to loose leaves, it has found its common ground in my kitchen. So, it only seems appropriate to allow my taste buds to explore outside the cup and onto the plate with the new series, teaspoons at the table. I hope that you'll join me on this new culinary path as we move beyond the simple sip and into the tea-inspired bite. Grab a plate and meet me with your teaspoons at the table.
Start with something simple: White Chai Smoothie
As crisp fall air whistles in through the window, I'm craving the warming spices of Chai (the edible blanket to warm your tongue and your soul). While masala chai (spices blended with an Indian black tea) has been my trusted companion, I've found my true chai-mate in White Chai tea from Tbar. The long silvery-white leaves of Bai Mu Dan delicately blend with lemongrass, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, resulting in a smooth, sweet and spicy sip.
Known to ignore my morning meal, I celebrate the start to the day with a simple steep. Although as I try to transition into a healthier start, I decided to take baby steps by combining my morning cup with my morning meal, and voila, the White Chai Smoothie was created.
The key to this recipe is the White Chai concentrate ice cubes. The trick is to add an extra teaspoon or two to your pot and steep for a minute longer, resulting in a concentrated sip. I recommend mixing honey or agave in this concentrate to balance the strength of the tea. Pour the strong tea into your ice cube tray and let the freezer do its magic. But before you turn off the kitchen light, grab a banana, cut it into large slices, and place in a resealable bag in your freezer. (I recommend steeping & freezing the night before your smoothie extravaganza).
As you slip out of slumber land in the early hours, grab your food processor and add Greek Yogurt (the texture is rich and creamy), the frozen slices of banana (let them sit out on the counter for a minute or two), and the White Chai tea cubes. Just blend. Breakfast is served. Sprinkle the top of the smoothie with ground cinnamon for an extra burst of spice and a touch of decorative flair.
White Chai Tea Smoothie
- 5 White Chai ice cubes (white chai tea concentrate can be made by adding an extra teaspoon of tea, steeping for a minute or two longer, and adding honey/agave)
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 frozen banana
- top with cinnamon cinnamon
quick tip: if you find yourself with extra white chai iced cubes and you've had your fill of smoothies, add them to a glass of water to spice up the simple sip.
photo courtesy of TheDeliciousLife